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January 30, 2013

How many things can you make with a paper clip?

WOW! It’s only the third week of the semester, but classes are in full gear and going right at it. I lucked out because all of the classes I am taking this semester are extremely interesting and I can feel myself learning…but they are all difficult classes. The past three semesters I’ve had a mixture of classes that ranged from very reading intensive to very manageable and everything in between, but now they are all intense. On top of that, three out of four classes include a lot of group work, which involves scheduling a lot of group meetings around each other…and class…and activities…and meals…and sleep.

Still, all of them have already made me expand my thinking – I think that’s the theme of this semester.

Also, last semester, I posted about how all of my classes related to one another…well that’s happening again, too. Let me explain.

Environmental Ethics is a good starting point. So as you know by now, my major is Global Environmental Studies so this is a class that counts toward my major (yea!). Each week we read about different philosophers and their views on the environment. Then we read a case study and discuss who we agree with most and why and challenge each other. Right now we are reading about humans, animals, and plants and discussing if one has more value than others, why, or if they are only valuable as a system, and a thousand more different intricate situations. In this class we talk about the role that humans have, which leads me to Green Business Management.


Green Business Management is really a cool class because it is completely hands on. The first week of class we were assigned a business/organization to work with and the entire semester we work to create a sustainability action plan for the company. We visit the physical location, talk to people who work there, and come up with a series of actions that can be done to make the place more eco-friendly. The suggestions range from replacing windows or a boiler to behavior changes, like turning off the lights more frequently.

Entrepreneurial Design Thinking is all about changing the way you think about everything. Our entire lives we are taught to think a certain way. This challenges all of that. Last class we had to crate a list with anything you can do with a paper clip. Some of the things I said were: bridge, cat house, cookie cutter, umbrella, and wind turbine. The fun part is that you can’t be wrong. Let your imagination run wild…it’s a lot more difficult than you think. We also do a lot of projects—one every two weeks so it’s pretty busy.


Creative Actor is related to the class above because it is all about trying new things and being not knowing what is going to happen next. The first day of class I was pretty nervous since I had never taken a class like this before. It counts as the Aesthetic Perspective (PLS Requirements — which you will learn about when you visit, is a way to try classes from a myriad of facets), and since I am a really bad drawer, I figured this was my chance to fulfill it. I actually love the class. It takes me out of my element every time we meet. We started off with basics; just some improv games, but this week I’m pretty sure we are starting scenes. My professor always says that if you are trying to make everyone else in the scene look good and they are trying to make you look good, you will always look good. What a great way to live life, right?

So with all of that and my three jobs and academic internship and clubs, my plate is pretty full. Fortunately, I am enjoying everything that I am doing, so I can’t complain.


Have a great week and beginning to the shortest month of the year!


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